We’ve heard plenty of reasons in the right-wing press why Jeremy Corbyn isn’t fit to run the country. But what about Boris Johnson? Here we outline the reasons why Boris Johnson isn’t fit to lead the UK – from his Islamophobic and homophobic remarks to his blatant lies and lack of empathy.
He bottled the Andrew Neil interview
Despite other political leaders, like Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon, agreeing to be interviewed by no-nonsense BBC broadcaster, Andrew Neil. The Prime Minister refused an interview. Neil even took to calling out Boris Johnson live on the BBC.
“No broadcaster can compel a politician to be interviewed. But Leaders’ Interviews have been a key part of the BBC’s prime time election coverage for decades. We do them, on your behalf, to scrutinise and hold to account those who would govern us. That is democracy. We’ve always proceeded in good faith that the leaders would participate. And in every election, they have. All of them. Until this one.”
That Boris Johnson chooses to engage in taking giggly selfies with Philip Schofield & Holly Willoughby, yet desperately avoids proper scrutiny by Andrew Neil should be a stark warning for all those about to vote him in again. #andrewneilinterviewspic.twitter.com/C5dL2TdvNb— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) December 6, 2019
He pocketed a journalist’s phone, so he didn’t have to look at the picture of a sick boy
Earlier this week, reporter Joe Pike showed the Prime Minister a picture of a sick four-year-old boy forced to lie on a pile of coats on the floor of an overcrowded hospital in Leeds. Mr Johnson refused to look at the image. Instead, he took the reporter’s phone and put it in his pocket. It wasn’t until he was challenged on pocketing Pike’s phone that he finally looked at the picture saying, “it’s a terrible, terrible photo and I apologise obviously to the family and all those who have terrible experiences in the NHS…”
Tried to show @BorisJohnson the picture of Jack Williment-Barr. The 4-year-old with suspected pneumonia forced to lie on a pile of coats on the floor of a Leeds hospital.— Joe Pike (@joepike) December 9, 2019
The PM grabbed my phone and put it in his pocket: @itvcalendar | #GE19 pic.twitter.com/hv9mk4xrNJ
He hid from journalists in a fridge
This morning Johnson ducked questions from reporters by hiding in a fridge in Leeds. The PM had joined an early morning milk round when he was confronted by Good Morning Britain’s Jonathan Swain about his “promise to talk to Piers [Morgan] and Susanna [Reid]”.
“I’ll be with you in a second,” Mr Johnson replied, before escaping into a large fridge.
In a video of the incident, one of the prime minister’s aides can be seen mouthing “oh for f***’s sake” after seeing Swain approaching the group.
Sources from within the party insisted Johnson was ‘categorically not hiding’ in the fridge, but instead his aides were taking a moment to prep the PM for a separate, pre-agreed interview.
His incorrect comments on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
In 2017, serving as foreign secretary, Boris Johnson made incorrect remarks that an innocent, British-Iranian mother – who was serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran for allegedly plotting to topple the government in Tehran – had been “training journalists” in Iran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, claimed Iranian officials were using Mr Johnson’s statement as a justification for extending his wife’s jail term. Johnson did later apologise for making unclear remarks.
He dismissed concerns over moderating language to safeguard politicians as “humbug”
Back in September 2019, Boris Johnson was asked to moderate his language by Labour MP Paula Sherriff. Sherriff said, “we should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation we do not like…” She was talking about the Prime Minister describing legislation passed earlier that month – that aimed to block a no-deal Brexit – as a ‘surrender act’. The visibly distressed Labour MP then went on to mention the murder of her friend and fellow MP, Jo Cox, by a far-right terrorist to highlight the dangers faced by MPs who receive daily death threats. Showing a lack of empathy, Boris Johnson replied: “I have to say, Mr Speaker, I have never heard such humbug in all my life.”
His use of Islamophobic and racist language is appalling
In 2008, Boris Johnson said that he found it “absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes” when referring to women wearing burqas and niqabs. Ironically it was in a Telegraph article about the oppression of Muslim women. Anti-Muslim crimes rose by 375 per cent the week following that article, according to Tell Mama – a national project which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents in the United Kingdom.
Mr Johnson also referred to black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” when working as a columnist for the Telegraph in 2002.
He was sacked for making up a quote when he worked at The Times
In 1987, Boris Johnson was sacked from his job as a journalist at The Times for making up a quote from his godfather, the historian, Colin Lucas. In defence of that incident, he said: “The trouble was that somewhere in my copy I managed to attribute to Colin the view that Edward II and Piers Gaveston would have been cavorting together in the Rose Palace”. Turns out Gaveston had actually been killed 13 years before the palace had been built.
He was sacked as a frontbencher over lying about an alleged affair
In 2004, the then MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator was “relieved of his duties” as shadow minister by Michael Howard for lying about an affair. It was claimed, by tabloid press, that Mr Johnson was having a long-term relationship with Petronella Wyatt. It was also alleged that Wyatt was impregnated by Johnson although the child was aborted. At the time, Mr Johnson was married with four young children. He dismissed the allegations as an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.
He was caught on tape in a plot to beat up a fellow journalist
In 1990, Boris Johnson was caught on tape discussing a plot to beat up a News of The World reporter with his friend and convicted fraudster, Darius Guppy. During the call, Guppy is heard telling Johnson – who was a Telegraph Brussels correspondent at the time – that the journalist has “got his blood up” and he wanted to scare him. Later, Johnson asks how badly he’s going to get hurt and Guppy tells him it won’t be anything too bad, just “a couple of black eyes” and a “cracked rib”. Guppy also asks for the journalist’s number and Johnson is heard saying “OK, Darry, I said I’ll do it. I’ll do it, don’t worry.”
This is the phone call Boris Johnson doesn’t want you to hear.— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) June 26, 2019
His friend, convicted fraudster Darius Guppy, planned to have a journalist beaten up, and Johnson was happy to help.
Is this a man we want as Prime Minister?#ToryLeadershipRace #BorisJohnson pic.twitter.com/GUq9QePTGK
He regularly used homophobic language during his time as a journalist
In a column in the Telegraph back in 1998, the then columnist, Boris Johnson, wrote that Peter Mandelson’s resignation from the Labour government would lead to the blubbing of “tank topped bumboys” in the “Ministry of Sound” nightclub. In an article in The Spectator two years later he wrote about “Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it.”
In 2002, in his book ‘Friends, Voters, Countrymen’ Mr Johnson wrote:
“If gay marriage was OK… I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.” Indicating that gay marriage was equal to bestiality.
It’s also been revealed recently that Boris Johnson defended
those who opposed gay people joining the military when writing in The
Spectator magazine in 1999, he said that:
“Across the country, there are many Tories who wish their party leadership would speak up more strongly against, say, gays in the military, or the cowing of the police by the Macpherson report, or the arrest of General Pinochet, or the impending abolition of the oath and the cap badge of the RUC [Royal Ulster Constabulary], or the abolition of the hereditary peers and foxhunting.
“They are, of course, right.”